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 Post subject: Falcons $5 million over 2005 cap
PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2005 4:40 pm 
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I did my own calculations, and I've come up with the figure that currently the team is about $5 million over the cap.

Now, don't get into a fuss, I did these calculations including our EFAs and RFAs, although some reports say that we won't be too overly concerned about retaining some of these guys. For example, if the Falcons do not tender Bibla, Mookie Moore, and McCadam as RFAs, that save $2 million right there.

Also, there is a strong chance that the team will cut Travis Hall, which will save $6.4 million against this year's cap. So Hall alone will keep us afloat.

Other possible cuts:

Eric Beverly - $1.2 million saved (he has a $500K option bonus coming in March)
Ed Jasper - $1.5 million (since he is retiring anyway)
Cory hall - $600,000
Chris Draft - $1.2 million
Brady Smith - $2 million

Although I do not expect the team to cut either Draft or Smith, it's possible that one or both will restructure their contracts, meaning we will still save some $$$. Cory Hall could be axed, but it will depend mostly on McKay's confidence that he can find an adequate replacement in the draft. I would like to see Beasley re-signed an penciled in as the starter.

Of those figures did not factor into our UFAs that will be hitting the market, but honestly I suspect most of those guys will walk. So we will likely need to free up some more in order to retain some of those guys.

We have about $5.5 million wrapped up in dead money from Whitfield, Tyrone Williams, and Tod McBride.

Dunn is another strong possibility to restructure with his $5.08 million cap figure. Weiner ($4.3M) is another candidate to restructure.

Of course all this is my estimations, and Chad has more accurate figures which hopefully should be available soon.

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 Post subject: Great job Pudge hope to here from Cap soon on this
PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2005 6:27 pm 
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Great job as usual Pudge. I don't know how much cap room we will have but I am looking at free agency if we can add anyone that is half way decent it is a bonus.I don't expect much from free agency,the draft is where I hope we do great in.Greg Squires and Wahle maybe Diem any of these 3 guys I would love to have.The def line we saw against big linemen in philly they can't get ot the QB.Lets just let it play out free agency starts march 2.


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 Post subject: Re: Falcons $5 million over 2005 cap
PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2005 10:27 pm 
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Quote:
there is a strong chance that the team will cut Travis Hall, which will save $6.4 million against this year's cap.


Hall played much better this year even though injured a couple of times. He wasn't a starter and won't be one in 2005 so can't command that much money at his age. I think he has at best one more productive year left so I agree, McKay will look hard at that $6.4M.

Other possible cuts:

[quote]Eric Beverly - $1.2 million saved (he has a $500K option bonus coming in March)[quote]

He may run block well but he sure can't run routes and catch the ball. He's either got to go or take a big cut.

[quote]Ed Jasper - $1.5 million (since he is retiring anyway)[quote]

Fish probably won't renege and decide to come back but I wish he would. My new #95 jersey won't be the same next year without Ed. I've met him a couple of times at the Kickoff Lunch and he's an enjoyable guy to be around and to talk to. As they say, he is not shy! He introduced me to his wife and two children in 2003. They are a great family. His nicknames for the kids are "Minnow" and another fish bait that I can't remember right now. I, for one will miss Ed.

[quote]Cory hall - $600,000[quote]

Goodbye Cory. Money saved.

[quote]Chris Draft - $1.2 million[quote]

Worth every penney!

[quote]Brady Smith - $2 million[quote]

Cheap at that price.

[quote]<snip>Cory Hall could be axed, but it will depend mostly on McKay's confidence that he can find an adequate replacement in the draft.[quote]

Don;t forget Keion Carpenter. He is Vick's buddy and should be healthy next year. I like his pass coverage much better than Hall's. What's your opionion on Keion at Safety next year Pudge?

[quote]I would like to see Beasley re-signed an penciled in as the starter.[quote]

Amen on resigning Beasley but let's see who else is in camp at CB before we give him a starting job. He'll get one some day but let's see him in camp next year.

<snip>

[quote]We have about $5.5 million wrapped up in dead money from Whitfield, Tyrone Williams, and Tod McBride.[quote]

Price may be in this category someday if his upcoming eye surgery doesn't improve his pass catching and getting open abilities. My buddy Derick in the seats next to me promises me he is going back to Law School just to be able to renegotiate "Catchless" (his words)Price's contract.

[quote]Dunn is another strong possibility to restructure with his $5.08 million cap figure. Weiner ($4.3M) is another candidate to restructure.[quote]

Both of these guys may be hard to negotiate a restructure with. Both are coming off pretty solid years with no real replacement in sight.

Great Post Pudge. Glad I found this group.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2005 4:18 am 
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As for Beverly, I would like to bring him back, but right now he's too expensive considering he doesn't offer much in the passing game. TE is a position I think this team should have been addressing in the draft ever since we lost Reggie Kelly back in 2003. But the team has basically overlooked it. Beverly is a good blocker, but as you and I believe, he doesn't do much in the passing game. He might be able to sneak in a few catches in the redzone, but he's not going to be someone Vick goes to on 3rd & 6 at the 44 yard line. There is talk, that he may move back to OG, but considering what we'll be paying him, there's no guarantee he'd beat out Garza (if re-signed) or whomever else we bring in at LG. Blakely and Sanders didn't do much in their time here, despite having loads of talent.

It seems that the team desperately wants a #2 TE that is a strong blocker, thus by having Goodwin, Brewer, Sanders, and Beverly brought in at the position. In FA, there are some decent options, but who knows how cheap they will come: Rickey Dudley, Marcellus Rivers, Walter Rasby, and Lamont Hall are all available.

I never got the opportunity to meet Jasper, but from all the things I've heard people at the Roost say about him and the articles written about him, he seems like a great guy. I wish we could convince him to stick around one more year, so that Lavalais can get another year under his belt before he's asked to be a starter. I figured at the beginning of the year that this past season may be Jasper's last with the team, but it was more based on a strong rookie year by Lavalais rather than EJ walking away at the end.

I'd like to see the team cut Cory Hall. IMO, he was a bad signing in teh first place. The team paid him way too much money. I think there's a good chance we can replace him with a good rookie in Round 2 or 3, plus Carpenter and Beasley can be brought back to hold the job until said rookie is ready.

I like Carpenter. I think he got a bad rap in 2003 when he was benched at midseason. He wasn't the problem, it was the other guys that were, but he got the axe because there needed to be a shakeup. But I also don't pretend to think Carpenter is anything more than average overglorified dime safety stopgap. He can play both FS and SS, and is good as a centerfielder, but a bit too small and slow to be a real force in the secondary. Personally, I'd rather have Beasley. I think Beasley is a stronger coverer, and probably a more physical presence at the position. I know Carpenter has the youth factor, but his two injuries in the past 2 years really I think have worked to make him seem like he's much older than 27. He seems like he's approaching 30. Even at age 32, I think Beasley could be a poor man's Rod Woodson at the position.

If I were McKay, I'd try to sign Beasley to a 1-yr. minimum deal, draft someone early, and then if still available, I'd re-sign Carpenter after the draft to provide more comp in camp. Also I'd probably let McCadam walk, so Carpenter can become the backup at SS or whatever.

I've been a Chris Draft fan since he joined the team back in 2000. I don't pretend he's a great linebacker, but I do believe for those 2 years we ran the 3-4, he was just every bit as good as Keith Brooking. Draft has slowed down over the years. But I'm reluctant to cut him since I think the team is going to use Williams at SLB next year (I doubt Stewart returns), and if Draft is gone, that leaves a gaping hole at MLB, making it a big need in FA/draft. It's a need we could probably get a decent player at in the draft, but I'd rather enter this April without having a need to get a starter, and focus on the best player available. So I think if Stewart walks, Draft stays at least for one year.

Brady Smith I think with his play this year, earned a chance to come back to Atlanta in 2005. But I'm stil unsure of how to handle his contract. Unlike Dunn, it's not so simple to simply restructure it. Smith has 2 more years left on his deal, and I think ideally he would only be playing 20-30 snaps per game, and getting paid at least half of what he's getting now. One option I've said before is that we cut Smith in March, in order to free up the cap space, and then hope to re-sign him again at a much cheaper rate. That's risky since if Smith is cut, he may decide to walk away. Or we could simply restructure, which I'm "morally" against because I think it only hurts you further down the road cap-wise (see the Tennessee Titans, and soon to be Pittsburgh Steelers). Or we could just outright cut him, and say too-da-loo and not look back. Another option of course is just to do a brand new deal, but that's probably the hardest option to get done because of time constraints (as you saw, it took about 3 months for them to get Crump's deal done).

It really comes down to what McKay wants to do. He could easily just "gut" the team and be like, "These aren't my guys, and I'm confident enough that I will be able to get the right players in here this year or next year, so that losing any of these guys won't be a huge lingering loss." Or he could just hold onto some of these guys for a year more, in hopes that this draft will allow him to add their replacements for 2006 and beyond.

Although it's weird to not have expectations of the team improving for 2005, I really don't see our current FA/cap/draft situation as one where it will be easy to enter 2005 as an improved team over the one we just saw this year. We might have to get worse in 2005 (which realistically won't be too hard considering how far we went this year) in order to get better in future years. And I'm content with that notion, injured Vick or healthy Vick, that the 2005 Falcons may only be 7-9 or 8-8, A.K.A. average.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2005 1:17 pm 
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Thanks again, Pudge, for looking at the cap info for us!

I honestly think we're in a reasonably good position. I'm sure that McKay, in all his wisdom, will have some tricks up his sleeve as to how to manage the cap and provide breathing room in order to make improvements. He might even make a trade or two in the draft that will improve things. For instance, a 1st rd pick cost more than a 2nd rounder, so he might move down in a deal that's the exact opposite of the deal last year to get Jenkins. It might save us some cap room and get a potentially better pick later in the draft. This draft has so many good mid-round players that we have plenty of options. I still like the idea of getting the best available player at 27, especially if someone like Pollack is still around.

A couple guys I like in the draft on defense are CBs Browner and Bartell, DT Babineaux, DEs (besides Pollack & Roth) Tuck & Canty, and at LB I like Boomer Grigsby and Merriman. On offense, I like RBs Fason, Reyes, and Barber, WRs Williamson and Brackins (who is a very interesting prospect), TE Kelly Griffith looks to be that big guy Gibbs could convert into a OT or really good blocking TE, and on the OL Kalif Barnes, Scott Young, and Vince Carter.

As far as FAs go, I have been thinking that Chris Hovan would be a great addition. He can play both NT and UT for us, and he wouldn't be too expensive. He really just needs a change of scenery, and the fun-loving ATL DL might be a good fit for him. I don't how he is character-wise.

Thoughts?


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2005 2:49 pm 
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jagstang76']I honestly think we're in a reasonably good position. I'm sure that McKay, in all his wisdom, will have some tricks up his sleeve as to how to manage the cap and provide breathing room in order to make improvements.[/quote]

Yeah, I can agree with that. As far as I can remember, the Falcons have never really been in a dire situation when it comes to the salary cap. We've never been in a situation where we needed to cut a tremendous amount of salary. Usually at the worst we were always in a position like we are now where we were a little bit over ($3-5 million), or started under ($3-10 million under), which meant we were more likely to spend.

Unfortunately, with Vick's contract, we are soon going to be approaching a time where we will be in a position where we might have to cut significant salary. In '07, Vick's cap hit will be over $10 million, and as far as I can remember, only once have we ever had a player eat up so much cap (Chandler I believe had a cap hit of $8-12 million one year). So these next 2 drafts (2005 and 2006) will be very important in terms of getting young talent to help boost the overall talent of the roster, because by 2007, we will likely have to part ways with players like Smith, Dunn, Price, Weiner, and Webster. So of course, that's why it's smart if the Falcons can add decent players at RB, DE, WR, OT, and CB in this year's draft to make those eventual departures much easier. I have faith in McKay too. A good GM (which I think I could eventually become :wink:, always can see moves that he can make 2 or more years in advance). It's all about a blueprint.

[quote="jagstang76 wrote:
A couple guys I like in the draft on defense are CBs Browner and Bartell


I think McKay wants to add size and speed at the cornerback position, so that eventually we will be able to play more man coverage. That's where DeAngelo will eventually shine, and right now Webster I believe is a liability in that area. Considering how old/slow we were at corner this year with Mathis & Beasley, we were forced to play zone. it's a shame that a guy liek Derek Ross couldn't work out for us. I htink possible one of the few FA moves we may make is to bring in a younger nickel corner to possibly replace Mathis/Beasley.

jagstang76 wrote:
As far as FAs go, I have been thinking that Chris Hovan would be a great addition. He can play both NT and UT for us, and he wouldn't be too expensive.


I'm going to have to disagree on this one. Hovan's play has slipped so dramatically since his rookie year, that he was benched in favor of Spencer Johnson. Anybody that read my draft preview last year knew that I did like Johnson, but come on, Hovan is a former 1st round pick! Johnson should be a rotational backup! Hovan is a guy that seemingly has cared more about the weight room than doing anything on the field the past few years. Bottom line, he has not been a factor at all for the Vikings for two whole seasons. Two rookies: Kevin Williams & Johnson have made him look stupid. I don't want him here. I doubt coming to Atlanta will boost his overall play.

Plus I think he will be very expensive. WR, DT, and CB will be positions that will always be expensive to sign quality players, because of the overall lack of top players. Teams are almost always constantly looking to add players at these positions, because unlike many other positions on the roster you need more than just 2 quality starters, but need a good #3 guy as well. Hovan, Tony Williams, and many other average-above avg. DTs will see their asking prices increase significantly, just like Rod Coleman saw his last year. Coleman ended up being worth almost every penny, but I don't think you will see the same from Hovan & Williams, along with Jason Ferguson, Pat Williams, etc.

I really think the best option for the Falcons is to sign a bargain basement (I will again stress RODNEY BAILEY!!!), and then hope to get some more help int he draft. Although I'm not happy about it, if push comes to shove, I can live with Lavalais in the starting lineup. I'm hopeful that Lavalais will make significant strides this off-season and improve on his play from last year, by getting into better shape, etc., but just I'd be much more comfortable if he entered August not as the starter, but rather the #3. Unfortunately, considering that this is a weak FA class for pass rushing DTs as well as a relatively weak draft class, we really don't have that luxury.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2005 9:43 pm 
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Pudge wrote:
I'm going to have to disagree on this one. Hovan's play has slipped so dramatically since his rookie year, that he was benched in favor of Spencer Johnson.

Agreed. And from what I've heard, he wasn't just benched; he was deactivated. Anyone not good enough for Minnesota's defense certainly isn't good enough for ours :wink:


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